In some places, it can still be tricky to get a test for covid-19 done in a timely manner, forcing you to wait days for results. But not so on the set of Jurassic World: Dominion, which just wrapped a mammoth 18-month production that, among other things, used up 40,000 covid-19 tests.
That figure comes from a recent report from Deadline, which explores the substantial effort Universal went to in order to get Jurassic World: Dominion back in production after the advent of the pandemic and complete it in a relatively safe manner. The numbers here are truly staggering. 40,000 covid-19 tests, millions of extra dollars to ensure health safety and to isolate the cast and crew, all to keep shooting a movie about dinosaurs during a pandemic.
The disease control measures, headed up by a private medical firm called Your Doctor, included frequent testing, regular temperature checks including walk-through temperature stations, additional hand sanitizer stations and sinks set up around the production, and complex and exhaustive daily cleaning measures. According to Deadline, the studio spent somewhere between $US6 ($8)-8 million on covid prevention, which included the cast and crew being kept isolated in a hotel in the UK outside of filming.
“We lived together, ate together, told stories, shared our fears and hopes, played Frisbee on the lawn… there was a lot of laughter at a time when it has been hard to find things to laugh about,” director Colin Trevorrow said of the filming experience.
“I think that close proximity to each other has made the movie better. Everything we were going through emotionally we would share. We would rehearse on Sundays, we crafted the characters, which made the emotion of the film richer. I think the movie will be stronger for it,” Trevorrow continued.
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As for the film itself, the content reportedly didn’t change much due to pandemic constraints. There will still be big action, big dinosaurs, and an ensemble cast that includes Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard alongside old-time Jurassic actors Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum.
Is the dinosaur epic going to be worth the positive test results — which numbered around 100, though reportedly some were false positives — and the logistical expense? We’ll see, I suppose, when it comes out in 2022.